The Book List
I just looked over my recent post about the books I read last year, I realized the post itself was ridiculously long, and therefore - because I am, apparently, this kind of person - I'm going to clean this up.
What's This Page All About?I read a lot. And I get caught up sometimes in obsessive little tasks, like for instance, keeping track of what I've read. So here it is, starting from about October 2005 forward.
Books marked with blue are ones I really enjoyed.
Those marked in orange are titles I didn't even finish, for one reason or another.
The rest...somewhere in between.
The book lists are below the fold.
The books I read this year (or last year if I haven't finished a book yet) are in the table below.
Here are all the books I read in 2007.
Here are all the books I read in 2006.
Book Title Author Rating (out of 10.0) Thoughts 2008 2008 2008 2008 The Brass Verdict Michael Connelly 8.0 First, there's a nice twist in that his main character, Harry Bosch, is a secondary character instead of the narrator. Then, a very entertaining and compelling mystery with an additional twist at the end that promises more. Can't ask for that much more. People Of The Book Geraldine Brooks 9.0 A great, riveting novel about a Haggadah found in Sarajevo, and it's trace through history -- all told in a casual, modern fun story about the woman tasked with restoring it. I feared this might be dry but it was anything but. Makes me want to read more by this Pulitzer Price winning author. A Wild Haruki Chase: Reading Murakami Around The World The Japan Foundation (collected) 6.0 I'm not sure exactly what I was expecting, but this does contain some interesting articles about Haruki Murakami, a great collection of international book covers ... and some academic papers that I really had no interest in reading. The New Kings of Nonfiction Ira Glass (editor) 7.5 Largely really good previously published essays and articles by some of my favorite writers (Malcolm Gladwell, Chuck Klosterman, Michael Lewis). Small points off for a few misses plus one or two I realized I'd already read elsewhere. Good People Marcus Sakey 7.0 Sakey's least satisfying effort, it's still a good suspenseful novel and enjoyable. The Elephant Vanishes Haruki Murakami 6.5 A somewhat uneven collection of stories, including what evolved into the first chapter of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, it's enjoyable but obviously done prior to hitting his stride. Travels In The Scriptorium Paul Auster 5.5 A disappointment from one of my favorite authors, Auster is overly cute here and worse yet, not all that interesting. Next! The God Delusion Richard Dawkins N/A Did Not Finish -- as much as I wanted to like this, Dawkins is pretty boring and proud of himself and it's not a great read. Oddly, the only book I started but didn't finish in 2008. Nixonland Rick Perlstein 9.5 Absolutely fascinating account of American politics from 1964-1972 in particular, with Richard Nixon paving the way for the morass that things have largely become. Full review here. At The City's Edge Marcus Sakey 9.0 Fantastic second novel by Sakey, a mystery thriller set in Chicago. Sakey is right up there with Lehane, Pelecanos and Connelly in terms of being the best in this kind of novel. The Crying of Lot 49 Thomas Pynchon 4.5 Probably worth reading, but well past it's prime and far too clever for its own good. But I'm glad to notch this one as being finally read. The Nine Jeffrey Toobin 8.0 Really interesting non-fiction account of the Supreme Court, notably the last thirty years or so. Well worth reading. The Complete Persepolis Marjane Satrapi 9.0 Brilliant graphic novel (now a film) about a young woman growing up in and out of Iran during the Islamic Revolution. The Blade Itself Marcus Sakey 9.0 Phenomenal. If you like gritty crime novels, Sakey immediately jumps into the landscape here. Just a shockingly good book that is impossible to put down. The Ha-Ha Dave King 7.5 An uneven but overall beautiful story about an adult male who lost the power of speech and writing in Vietnam, and how his life changes over a short period of time almost 30 years later. Cooked: From the Streets to the Stove, from Cocaine to Foie Gras Jeff Henderson 7.0 Certainly an interesting life (from crack dealer to gourmet chef) but that should be slightly more compelling than it was. And the foodie in me wanted more details about the cooking. Rigged Ben Mezrich 7.0 As always, Mezrich is very "readable" but this was my least favorite of his. But I want to go to Dubai. In Defense of Food Michael Pollan 7.5 Not nearly the level of "Omnivore's Dilmena" it is still very good and a sad account of what has happened to our food and the way we eat it. The Design of Everyday Things Donald A. Norman 9.0 Review The Wisdom of Crowds James Sureowicki 7.0 Reading it five years after it was written, its insights aren't as new to me as it would have been back then. But still, interesting tings to say about how we learn and operate. Sputnik Sweetheart Haruki Murakami 7.0 While enjoyable, it's probably my least favorite Murakami. It felt a bit sophomoric and undeveloped. Still very good, though. Drama City George Pelecanos 7.0 Straight ahead crime story - sad, honest truth about D.C. ("Drama City") from a great author. Ugly Americans: The True Story of the Ivy League Cowboys Who Raided the Asian Markets for Millions Ben Mezrich 8.0 Quite good account of Western bankers running rampant in Southeast Asia in the 1980s and 1990s. Mezrich is unbelievably readable. Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln Doris Kearns Goodwin 9.0 Review Jennifer Government Max Barry 7.0 Not as good as Company, still a biting satire about our corporate culture. Exile Richard North Patterson 4.5 Review The Year of Living Biblically A.J. Jacobs 7.5 Not nearly as engaging as The Know It All, this memoir of Jacobs trying to live by the literal rules of the Bible is still quite entertaining. Bridge of Sighs Richard Russo 8.5 Outstanding - which seems to be par for the course for Russo. Woefully underrated author.